• Located on Tenerife in the Canary Islands (a Spanish-owned island chain off the north-west coast of Africa), the summit of Mount Teide at 3178 metres
(just over 12000 feet) is the highest point in Spain.
• It is the third highest volcano in the world.
• The most recent eruption of Mount Teide happened in 1909. It also erupted in 1798, 1706, 1705 and 1704.
• On his voyage of discovery Christopher Columbus apparently saw the 1492 eruption of Mount Teide when he was sailing past Tenerife.
• Mount Teide is currently a dormant volcano, but many scientists believe it will erupt again in the near future.
• Several plants can only be found on the slopes of Mount Teide. These include: the Teide white broom and the Teide daisy.
• Mount Teide appears on Tenerife’s coat of arms and it used feature on the back of the 1000 Peseta note (before Spain adopted the Euro as its national currency).
• In winter temperatures at the summit temperatures can vary between -5 and -10 degrees C. The summit is often covered with snow.
During 2003, there was an increase in seismic activity at the volcano and a rift opened No eruptive activity occurred but a volume of material – possibly liquid, was emplaced into the structure and Such activity can indicate that magma is rising into the structure, but is not always a pioneer to an eruption.
Teide additionally is considered structurally unstable .The summit of the volcano has a number of small active gases, including low levels of hydrogen sulfide.
A scientific assessment in 2006, published in the journal Eos, observed that “in the past 30,000 years, eruptions have occurred at a rate of only four to six per millennium, with majority of very low hazard eruptions”. The authors further commented that “the recent eruptive record, provides a rather positive outlook on major volcanic hazards related to Teide and its split zones, posing only very localised threats to the one million inhabitants of Tenerife and the 4.5 million annual visitors to Teide National Park.” However, another study in 2009 concluded that Teide will probably erupt violently in the future, and that its structure is similar to that of Vesuvius and Etna. Thus the extent of the risk posed by Teide to the public remains a source of debate.
The legend states that Teide was the dwelling of Guayota, the god of the dead who was recognised with hell. Having witnessed at least six eruptions, the Guanches (the original, pre-Spanish invasion, inhabitants of Tenerife) came to fear the volcano as an evil force. By punishing the Sun god within the volcano, Guayota plunged the world into eternal night. The Guanches appealed to Archaman, the supreme god, to battle Guayota and free the Sun god. Archaman defeated the evil god and sealed him in the volcano. During eruptions, Guayota would try to break free, so the Guanches lit bonfires to keep him inside.Tenerife was also once home to the legend of Atlantis. The well-known legend says that the mythical civilization sank overnight due to some misfortune in the distant past. Only the highest peaks remained above sea level, forming the islands of Macaronesia, which included the Canary Islands. A distinguished naturalist visited the islands and lent some credibility to the legend with his studies. But when modern science revealed that the islands lay atop the oceanic crust, the Canary Islands lost their mythical status.